Win a gift to the nation on Pakistan Day: Afridi

Mirpur: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi dedicated Wednesday`s comprehensive win over the West Indies in the quarter-finals of the World Cup to the people back home on the occasion of the national day.

Pakistan stormed into the World Cup semifinals with a convincing 10-wicket win over the Caribbean side at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday.

"This is a great gift we gave to the nation on Pakistan Day. We tried to stick to our plans and the boys have done a great job doing that. Kamran (Akmal) and (Mohammad) Hafeez did really well," Afridi said after the match. Afridi yet again impressed with the ball scalping four wickets for just 30 runs.

"Personally I just tried to maintain line and length. These were great conditions for spin if you landed it on the length. We had tried (Abdul) Rehman against New Zealand and Australia and he did well. Today, we backed Hafeez and he pulled it off with the ball," the Pakistan skipper said. Afridi refused to think about his side`s next opponent, which could be either India or Australia, saying, "We think game by game. All we can do is to work hard."

Hafeez was declared the man-of-the-match for his all-round show. Hafeez first picked up two West Indian wickets giving away just 16 runs from his 10 overs and then the played an unbeaten knock of 61 to guide Pakistan home.

"I really worked hard over the last couple of days and it worked for me. The coach told me a couple of days back that I would bowl with the new ball, and I tried it at the nets. I just kept them on line and length today, and it worked. My batting form came back at the right time and I hope to carry it on," he said. West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said his side`s flop show with the bat, especially their inability to handle spin cost them dear.

"Definitely not enough runs on the board. We didn`t counter the bowling well, and fell well short. We lost wickets in clusters to spin throughout the tournament, and today was no exception," he said.

Sammy, however, said his side would go with a lot of positives from the tournament. "Some bright spots -- a number of people under the age of 27 - (Kemar) Roach, (Ravi)Rampaul, (Devendra) Bishoo and a few youngsters who should be around for the next World Cup, so we should prepare for that. Bishoo has done excellently for Guyana and is one of the positives," he said.

PTI

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